Seven Oaks hospital relies on healthy staff

80,000-square-foot wellness institute one of many perks
By Shannon Klie
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 10/20/2006

For Mark Neskar, the CEO of Seven Oaks General Hospital in Winnipeg, employee health and organizational health go hand in hand.

One of the hospital’s 1,500 employees, a janitor, had missed a lot of work due to back problems. He was sedentary, he was overweight and he smoked, all factors contributing to his ill health. A couple of years ago he took part in the smoking cessation and nutrition programs offered through the Wellness Institute, an 80,000-square-foot fitness and wellness facility operated by the hospital, and he started exercising regularly.

“He improved to where he is a very productive employee,” said Neskar. “In the subsequent year, he didn’t miss one day of sick time. Both the employer and the employee gained. He’s happier, he’s more productive, whether it’s at work or whether it’s at home, and he’s on the road to a very healthy lifestyle.”